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Old 12-26-2008, 01:50 PM
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Raellus Raellus is online now
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Default Using Captured Vehicles

For some reason, I'm really interested in the widespread practice of armies employing the captured equipment of their enemies against its makers, especially big-ticket items like tanks and IFVs.

I just got Cornelius Ryan's The Last Battle for Christmas and read, for the first time (that I can remember, at least), about the 83rd ID's breakneck race for the Elbe, during which it was dubbed the "Ragtag Circus" due to the large number of captured and commandeered German military and civilian vehicles (from Panthers to fire engines) they used to keep pace with allied armored divisions driving on the same objective. Apparently, anything that could move on its own was painted OD and added to the procession. They even had their own captured BF-109 with 83rd Infantry Division painted on the underside of its wings.

I've read a lot about the IDF and they are certainly not too proud to use captured enemy material, even to this day. Their Achzarit heavy APCs (currently in service) are built on the chasis of the hundreds of Egyptian and Syrian T-54 and T-55 MBTs captured during the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.

There are plenty of RW examples. I'm curious about T2K examples. I'm sure that the practice would be even more widespread in T2K due to the breakdown in manufacturing. I know that there are a couple in the U.S. and Soviet Vehicle guides. Have you, as a T2K GM or player, ever made use of captured vehicles? Were they modified at all (I'm thinking of paint/national markings, switching a PKM for an M240, etc.)? Were the mods something done by the PCs in the field or were they completed by a maintainance unit in cantonment (or earlier in the war)?

Please, do tell.
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:


Last edited by Raellus; 12-26-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:38 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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We've had a few captured vehicles in our group: a T-72M1 and a MTLB, along with two Ural 375 trucks (one rigged up as a gun truck with a ZU-23 on the back). Very nice to play "Trojan Horse" on occasion....Only when we got back to friendly lines did the vehicles get an appropriate paint job to show their new ownership. And they made the trip to Iran on the hijacked Frosch-class LSTs.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:22 PM
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Webstral Webstral is offline
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The 111th Brigade (of Thunder Empire/SAMAD) uses a number of captured Mexican AFV, along with a fair amount of other captured materiel. Here is the pertinent material:

367th Battalion (Motorized Infantry) received its guidon and appointment on 3-17-99. The battalion took over pre-existing units serving with the 111th MI Brigade, 1012th MP Battalion, and 3rd Brigade (AZSTAG). 367th Bn took control of a variety of armored vehicles and troops, including LAV-75 light tanks, Lynx armored cars, M577 and M113 armored personnel carriers, VAB armored personnel carriers, Peacekeeper armored cars, a variety of up-armored HMMWV squad carriers, and several civilian armored cars. The battalion was further reinforced by a troop of horse cavalry, motorcycle scouts, and footmobile scouts. Mortars carried in the bed of pickup trucks and towed MRL added to the battalion’s indirect firepower.

The battalion is organized into company teams.

As of March 2001, there are five operational Stingrays, eight operational Lynxes, fourteen operational M113s, three operational M577s, eleven operational VABs, seven operational Peacekeepers, twenty-seven operational HMMWVs, and nine operational civilian armored cars.

4 LAV-75
4 M113
4 M113

4 Lynx
4 M113

4 Lynx
3 Peacekeepers/1 HMMWV

4 pickup-mounted 82mm mortars
2 towed 82mm MRL
2 M577
1 LAV-75
2 M113
1 civilian armored car
Various trucks
4 Peacekeepers
4 civilian armored cars
4 civilian armored cars

3 platoons of horse cavalry

A/322 (ENGR)
4 platoons of combat engineers in unarmored trucks and other vehicles
1 platoon of heavy equipment with organic transport and supply

Mexican vehicles were captured during the fighting in the 1998 and 1999 campaign season. A number of AFVs (and other equipment) were recovered after the failed attempts by Brigada Nogales to force the main border crossings at Douglas and Nogales at the beginning of the conflict. More were recovered at Yuma, and still more were recovered after the disastrous retreat of Brigada Nogalas from Tucson. The park of fighting vehicles available to Fort Huachuca increased further during the 1999 campaign season, when the 111th Brigade mauled a major Mexican Army incursion advancing west along I-10.

The 367th can be used as a complete force or broken down into separate company teams to support the light infantry battalions. As a motorized task force, it is used for deep penetration, followed by envelopment of enemy forces. The motorized infantry essentially form the anvil while other units act as the hammer.
Alternatively, units of the 367th can be detached to act as mobile gun platforms. When faced with heavy resistance, the light infantry of the 111th typically bypass enemy strong points. Armor then can be brought up to reduce these strong points, once they are isolated.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:34 AM
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Web what is the total man power? Assuming you replaced the Stingrays mentioned with the LAV-75s.

Really love this type of stuff. Keep it coming.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:44 AM
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Thanks much. Yes, I did replace Stingrays with LAV-75. The US Army Vehicle Guide mentions the LAV-75 playing a significant role in the fighting in the American Southwest. I figured that since I break with canon so much in Thunder Empire I ought to make an effort to conform. Also, it would be easier to send LAV-75 experts to Huachuca than Stingray experts. By October 1997, there will be a fair number of crewmen and mechanics who have some experience with the system and who are either recovering from injuries or who are simply out of the fight due to their injuries. Naturally, I missed one of the Stingray references during the pre-post edit. ("Attention to detail, candidate!")

End strength is about 700. Also, F Troop doesn't belong in the line-up. Each company in the battalion has about 160 per battalion. Huachuca, having the luxury of a VERY substantial population base from which to draw soldiers, has opted for the "bigger battalion" model. Bigger battalions come from bigger companies. Bigger companies come from bigger platoons. TO&E platoon strength is between 40 and 45 in the 367th.

(Oddly enough, most of my organizations feature large platoons--even without the substantial population base. Could it be bias on the part of the creator? Perhaps.)

As a side note, the sheer size of the platoons puts a premium on the company-level leadership. Although a lot of the platoon leaders in early 1998 are virgins, by 2001 all of the platoon leaders are salty dogs. No one gets a commission without merit. The enlisted ranks of MI are full of troops who have associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. By 2001, it's not too hard to find a team or squad leader who merits promotion.

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Old 12-29-2008, 08:51 AM
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Have had this happen a few times in games that I've been involved in...one campaign in Poland involved a group of Bundeswher characters who had a BTR 70 that they named Kleine Olga. As we were behind Soviet lines we didn't modify it in any way to reflect its new ownership. Stealing trucks and UAZ469's was also a pretty commonplace occurrence.

More recently, I've been considering the possibility of the British Army using small numbers of ex Warsaw Pact vehicles in the UK. My thinking behind this is that early in the War some intact vehicles may have been shipped back to bases in the UK for testing / evaluation (in particular former East German army vehicles that came in to NATO's possession (version 1 timeline)). What I have so far along these lines is a mechanised infantry company based in Yorkshire operating a BTR 70 and a Shilka AA platform. They have zero rounds of 23mm for the shilka, but the local marauders don't know that...

To avoid potential incidents, when they arrived in the UK rear area technicians would have given these vehicles make overs (new paint job, national markings, probably large Union flags on the sides) to make their new ownership quite clear.
Author of the unofficial and strictly non canon Alternative Survivors Guide to the United Kingdom
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